Sunday, August 19, 2007

Four Presidential Candidates Worse Than Bush and One Leader

Watching the ABC News Iowa Democratic debate this morning and the Republican debate last week, I was most interested in what the candidates had to say about Iraq and foreign policy. While I am deeply concerned about the other issues of the day, to me, all other issues are a distant second in comparison. For the first time in my life, I could be persuaded to vote for a Democrat if I thought that person had the wisdom to disentangle our country from the mess that is Iraq and leave the world a saver place. While I am sure I would disagree with a Democratic candidate on tax policy, health care policy, Supreme Court nominees and most other domestic issue, if someone can show the wisdom to get us out of Iraq, then they could win my support.

I was not impressed by what I saw this morning or last week. Most of the candidates played it safe and where short on specifics. I guess that is the way to stay in the game. Bearers of bad news don’t inspire a lot of enthusiasm. So candidates sell their “experience”, or “leadership” or they position themselves as the “candidate of change”, but they avoid letting the people have specifics by which to critique them.

Of all the candidates, there were four that convinced me they would screw up getting us out of Iraq worse than Bush did in getting us into Iraq. These four candidates, who by comparison, would make Bush look like a genius, are Democrats Make Gavel, Bill Richardson, and Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul. The solution of these four candidates appears to be to pull out as quickly as possible and to hell with the consequences. They would race each other to the border.

Things are bad now, but they could get much worse. Events could spin rapidly out of control: A proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Iraq, massive genocide, an Al Qaeda stronghold, a Turkish invasion of Kurdistan are not only realistic possibilities, but appear likely to occur unless a solution that brings stability is found. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues to need a solution. How to deal with an Iran that may be close to joining the ranks of the nuclear-armed states is an enormous challenge.

With a resurgent Al Qaeda in Pakistan and with Pakistan facing elections, which very well may be suspended, the Al Qaeda allies in Pakistan could come to power in a military coup. A nuclear-armed Jihadist Pakistan could become a reality. If that occurs, what will be the future of the shaky peace between nuclear-armed India and nuclear-armed Pakistan?

"Stay the course" is not acceptable to the American people, and it should not be, but “cut and run” could be worse. I wish we had a pragmatic realist such as Ronald Reagan running for president, but I don’t see one. At this point anyone who had a plan for getting us out of Iraq without worsening the situation is worthy of consideration, but few of the candidates seem to want to even admit that the situation is dire.

Of all the candidates, the only one who even seems willing to discuss the consequences of a mismanaged withdrawal is Joseph Biden. In my estimation, he is the only candidate willing to reveal that he has even given serious thought to the problems of the Middle East. It is unfortunate that his campaign is not gaining traction and that he is not in the top tier of contenders.

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1 comment:

  1. Actually, Congressman Paul didn't say he would race for the border.

    One of only two currently in the presidential hunt that have been Active Duty military, Rep. Paul knows that a unrestrained pull out would put thousands of military lives at risk just from leaving them unprotected while withdrawing.

    Why not actually ask the Congressman what his plans would be to remove troops from Iraq instead of speculating what his with drawl plan would consist.

    We also need to decide on what will happen to an embassy that is currently under construction and bases that were put in while in Iraq.

    Do we leave the door open to help rebuild the infrastructure after the Iraqi's kick the heck out of Al Qaeda or leave them to their own devices.

    Negotiating with Turkey, Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are all still left on the table.

    We also have on last problem left to take care of and that is whether or not Pakistan will allow US troops or local bounty hunters to bring the REAL mastermind of 9/11 to justice, Osama bin Laden.